CHHS Partnership with Widow Jane Whiskey


ROSENDALE (April 2, 2020) – Widow Jane Distillery  and Century House Historical Society, a non-profit organization in Rosendale, NY announce today a partnership to preserve local history and culture including the historical landmark, the Widow Jane Mine. The Widow Jane Mine on the grounds of the Century House is one of the first and one of the oldest examples of a natural cement mine in the country. For over 100 years, cement from the Widow Jane was used to build early America icons including the Brooklyn Bridge and the base of the Statue of Liberty. While the era of natural cement is long gone, the area’s 32-square-mile limestone shelf is now the source of the limestone-rich water used to proof Widow Jane whiskeys.


  • Widow Jane Distillery will make an annual contribution to support the Century House Historical Society in its mission to preserve and present the history of Rosendale and the Hudson Valley’s renowned cement industry, transportation links, businesses and most importantly the people who lived and worked in the area.
  • Widow Jane will support the refurbishment of an exhibit within the Century House’s on-site museum.
  • Co-hosting of an annual celebration of the local history to be held in the Widow Jane Mine and the surrounding picnic grounds.

QUOTE FROM [Althea Werner, Site Coordinator] “For over a century, natural cement from Rosendale was used to build America.  1000s of families lived here, worked and died in these mines for generations producing the building material that helped construct American landmarks as well as many of the everyday structures in New York and worldwide. The history and contributions made by the miners and their families to America are too important to let time erase.  Our partnership with the Widow Jane Distillery will help preserve this history for future generations while recognizing the newest industry to come to Rosendale.”  

“The Rosendale Mines are a huge part of New York State’s rich history and the hard-yet-sweet, limestone-rich water found in these mines is what makes Widow Jane whiskeys so special,” says Wicker. “Further, there’s a shared roll-up-your-sleeves, DIY sensibility that unites the communities of Rosendale and Red Hook, Brooklyn. We’re proud to support the tireless, entirely volunteer team who maintain the Mines, keep that history alive, and protect that precious water.” 


The connection between Rosendale and Brooklyn extends to materials used to build one of the borough’s most recognizable landmarks.

Limestone mined from Rosendale is ideal for manufacturing into a tough and durable natural cement. By the end of the 19th century, the superior quality of Rosendale cement was known worldwide and was actively used in the construction of some of America’s most enduring landmarks, including the Brooklyn Bridge.


  • In 1825, commercial mining began in Rosendale and spread throughout the region. 
  • By 1830, nearly 10 million pounds per year of natural cement were being produced in and around the town of Rosendale and shipped throughout the world.
  • By 1891, half of the cement in America was Rosendale cement.
  • The name Widow Jane is in honor of Jane LeFevre Snyder who lived at the Century House. Jane became a widow the age of 31 and lost all 4 of her male children as infants. 

Admission to the Widow Jane Mine is by small donation and open year around. The Century House museum is open in summer on Sundays from 1-4 or by appointment.

About Widow Jane Distillery

Widow Jane is an award-winning artisanal distillery located in the New York City neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn. The company is named in reference to the legendary Rosendale mines in Upstate New York that produced the natural cement used in constructing the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building, among many other structures. The pure, limestone-filtered water from the  Rosendale mines, along with heirloom corn varietals grown specifically for Widow Jane, are among the components that make Widow Jane bourbon unique in the industry.

The facility in Red Hook includes warehousing, aging, barreling, blending and bottling. For more information, visit